The First Qubit Built With 99.9% Control Accuracy on a Silicon Wafer Is Now Ready. It Changes Everything

  • It’s now possible to use current chip fabrication technology to produce quantum processors.

  • Australian startup Diraq has achieved a milestone that opens the door to the production of quantum chips with billions of qubits.

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There are currently a slew of research groups and companies involved in developing quantum computers. The most surprising in all this is the wide range of technologies they're using to do it, such as superconducting qubits, ion traps, ions implanted in macromolecules, and neutral atoms. The coexistence of different types of qubits is seen as an advantage, as it allows for progress along multiple paths toward the development of a fully functional quantum computer capable of self-correction.

Among the various technologies mentioned, semiconductor qubits have shown promising developments in recent months. Notably, their production involves the same techniques and materials used to manufacture traditional integrated circuits, and they’re made in wafer form, similar to the computer chips you might be familiar with.

Diraq’s Achievement Opens the Door to Quantum Processors With Millions of Qubits

Last March, Intel and QuTech, a research institute for quantum computing at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, announced a major achievement: They had successfully manufactured a qubit using the same processes and technology currently utilized to make semiconductors. This breakthrough is significant because it paves the way for scaling qubits and integrating them into quantum computers on a massive scale.

Australian company Diraq specializes in manufacturing quantum processors that utilize electron spin in CMOS quantum dots.

Another recent major breakthrough in the field of quantum computers occurred just a month ago when a group of physicists at the University of Basel in Switzerland successfully tuned a two-qubit logic gate inside a conventional silicon transistor. They demonstrated that it’s possible to trap and use the spin of the hole in a semiconductor to create a qubit. It might seem like a minor thing, but it’s actually a significant milestone.

Why? This development paves the way for the potential use of today’s mature semiconductor manufacturing technology to produce integrated circuits capable of accommodating millions of qubits. However, being able to produce this type of qubit isn’t enough. It’s crucial to be able to control them with extremely high precision in order to reliably perform logic operations with them. Engineers at Diraq, an Australian company specializing in the manufacture of quantum processors that utilize electron spin in CMOS quantum dots, have achieved this.

The team at Diraq has successfully manufactured a qubit with a control accuracy of 99.9% using standard semiconductor manufacturing technology. This is the highest accuracy to date and paves the way for the creation of quantum processors containing billions of qubits and integrating a reliable error correction system. Nothing less.

This scalability is made possible through the use of current integrated circuit manufacturing technology. The initial qubit was produced on a 12-inch silicon wafer. Diraq is confident in its technology and has reached an agreement with U.S. chipmaker GlobalFoundries to begin producing its quantum processors this year.

Diraq’s development is undoubtedly promising and, once again, fuels optimism about the future of quantum computers in the medium term.

Image | Diraq

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